Our Democratic Right to Do Nothing But Complain

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Posted by Bill Narvey on 14:48:14 2005/04/16

Pollsters, pundits and the media claim to have a read on Canadians' reaction to the increasingly heinous revelations of the sponsorship scandal coming out at the Gomery Inquiry and regarding the prospect of moving to a spring election.

In spite of its anger with the Liberal Party, Canadians still seem to prefer the status quo and are angered by the prospect of a spring election now being bandied about.

A quick look back at the Chretien and brief Martin years is telling as to the kind of government most Canadians have grown accustomed to.

The Chretien Government's leadership, was characterized by empty platitudes, self aggrandizing statements, arrogance, equivocations, made in Europe foreign policies, cronyism, misguided policies, and moral lapses from which scandals flowed, with only the latest scandal just then emerging. Chretien, before leaving office turned his attention more towards establishing an honorable legacy in the Canadian historical continuum.

Perhaps way down the road, history's lens will allow a more kindly view of Mr. Chretien, but Canadians saw Jean Chretien for what he really was and the Canadian Public grumbled and griped.

That however, was all that Canadians did.

Enter Paul Martin. He and Chretien despised each other. Mr. Martin said he was going to make a difference, he was going to make things right and he was going to do the right thing regardless of where the chips fell. The first chinks in that promise were to describe Mr. Chretien as a great Canadian and to accept into his cabinet some of Chretien's cronies, so as to not cause a revolt and melt down in the Liberal party.

The Public's hopes, warranted or not in Mr. Martin, its apathy, its cynicism and its uncertainty with the Conservatives, resulted in a lukewarm adoption of a 'better to go with the devil you know, than the devil you don't' attitude, and thus the Liberals were saved from being totally ousted in the last election and formed our Minority government.

Now, Mr. Martin, has failed in just about every way to meet expectations that Canadians, came to expect of him.

If the pollsters, pundits and media are right that Canadians' anger at the Liberals might be superceded by their anger with the Conservatives for forcing an election, that could result in a Liberal or Conservative Minority government. Canadians perhaps see that as a waste of time and effort to flush money down the toilet, to only get to where we are right now.

The expressions, 'the more things change, the more they remain the same' and 'people get the government they deserve' seems to mark the nature of the Canadian political game, the nature of the political players and their teams of cronies and the nature of the Canadian Public before whom the game is played out.

All this begs the question, what is the limit of the Canadian Public's capacity to accept bad government due to leadership characterized by the lack thereof, fence sitting, venerating political correctness over doing the right thing, moral lapses and consequential scandals before apathy is shattered and a majority of Canadians finally stand up and make themselves heard?

I don't know what that limit is, but this I do know - grumbling and griping just won't cut it.

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